FN P-90 Personal Defense Weapon

     Notes: This weapon looks more like a weapon from a science-fiction movie than an authentic weapon; in fact, most people know the P-90 (if not by name) from its use on the science fiction series Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. The P-90 is slowly gaining acceptance with some military and police forces.  Though there is some limited use of the P-90 by rear-echelon troops and military drivers, the primary users of the P-90 so far have been by special operations (both military and by some government agencies), some police SRT-type units, and bodyguards.  The nature and design of the P-90 straddles the line between a submachinegun and a short-barreled assault rifle in other words, it is a PDW.

     The design of the P-90 is radical but well thought out. The P-90 uses new caliber rounds specially designed for this weapon, and the bullpup design allows a longer barrel than most SMGs.  The ammunition is carried in a clear box magazine atop the barrel and receiver, and virtually the entire weapon is made from polymers or plastic.  Bullpup weapons normally cannot be fired very well from the left shoulder (and therefore left-handed shooters), but FN solves this problem by making case ejection straight down.  (This can present some problems when firing while prone, however, if the ejection port is not clear of the ground.)  Controls are ambidextrous; the selector lever is actually a dial underneath the unusually-shaped trigger guard (which is also a part of the stock, so that the dial is difficult to inadvertently turn).  The selector and trigger mechanisms are unusual.  The dial has three positions; the first is safe, the second allows for semiautomatic or automatic fire by use of a two-stage trigger, and the third allows semiautomatic fire only.  The magazine catches are located on either side of the receiver at the rear of the magazine well.  Small charging handles are found on either side of the receiver above the foregrip.  Operation is by blowback, with firing being from a closed bolt.  The magazines are unique to the P-90 and include rotating feed lips at the rear that allow the P-90 to feed from the magazine by turning the rounds in line with the chamber.  Inside the P-90, the feed mechanism pulls the rounds down and into the chamber below the end of the magazine.  The magazines are translucent and are of plastic with a smoked color.  Barrel length is surprisingly long for such a compact weapon it is 10.35 inches, and tipped by a small flash suppressor.  A special silencer (for use with a subsonic version of the 5.7mm FN cartridge) is also available; this silencer fits over the flash suppressor and locks to the P-90 by use of special lugs; no tools are required to mount or remove the silencer.

     The sight atop the weapon is a simple reflex collimating sight, with a circle-and-dot aiming point for day use and a tritium-illuminated crosshair in low light.  This sight is designed for use with both eyes open, and if it is damaged, there are conventional iron sights on either side of the sight housing if the collimating sight is damaged.  FN also makes a special laser aiming module that is unusually-flat and fits into a slot underneath the barrel and above the foregrip.  On either side of the sight housing, the P-90 has special rails for use with accessories.

     There are a few variants of the P-90, most of which shoot the same as the P-90 for game purposes.  A later variant called the P-90TR (also known as the P-90 Flat Top) replaces the normal collimating reflex sight and backup iron sights with a MIL-STD-1913 rail on top of what was the sight mount, along with a pair of shorter rails on the side where the iron sights used to be.  Two other versions of the P-90 are also available: the P-90LV (with a laser aiming module in place of the standard collimating reflex sight), and the P-90LIR (identical to the P-90LV, except that the laser aiming module uses an IR laser which allows the targeting spot to be seen only with night vision goggles or sights.) 

     Though a carbine rather than a submachinegun, the PS-90 is included here because it is a civilianized version of the P-90, introduced in early 2006.  To make the P-90 into a civilian weapon, the barrel was extended to 16.1 inches, the weapon is only capable of semiautomatic fire (and FN has taken steps to make the PS-90 extremely difficult to convert to automatic fire), and smaller-capacity magazines were made available to comply with the laws for civilian ownership in some countries.  Those magazines are the same as the standard 50-round plastic box, except that blocks are put in to keep the magazine from being loaded beyond the capacity desired.  The regular P-90 can also use these magazines.  Though HV ammunition is not sold on the civilian market, the PS-90 is capable of firing it. (Conceivably, the PS-90 could also fire subsonic ammunition, though the P-90s special silencer will not fit on a PS-90.)

     Twilight 2000 Notes: This weapon was not well received by a pre-war military establishment in the Twilight 2000 timeline, except for some special uses.  This was mainly because of the non-standard cartridge it fired and the special materials and parts used in the design.  The PS-90 does not exist in the Twilight 2000 timeline.

     Merc 2000 Notes: Though at first sales were brisk due to the novelty factor, it eventually got out that the P-90 was actually a rather effective weapon for its size and sales increased even further.  The PS-90 never really sold well, except with some civilian weapon collectors.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

P-90

5.7mm FN

2.54 kg

50

$730

P-90TR

5.7mm FN

2.5 kg

50

$578

P-90LV/LIR

5.7mm FN

2.54 kg

50

$982

PS-90

5.7mm FN

2.93 kg

10, 30, 50

$789*

P-90 Silencer

N/A

0.88 kg

N/A

$195

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

P-90

10

2

1-Nil

3

1

7

24

HV Ammo

10

2

1-1-Nil

3

1

7

29

Silenced

10

2

1-Nil

4

1

5

17

PS-90

SA

2

1-Nil

4

2

Nil

43

HV Ammo

SA

2

1-1-Nil

4

2

Nil

52

*Many civilian versions of the PS-90 are sold without the ability to mount a flash suppressor.  Subtract $4 from the price of a PS-90 that has no flash suppressor.

 

Precision Liegnose Vigneron M-2

     Notes: This is a very old Belgian submachinegun, which can still be found in several Central and South American countries, and in Africa.  Produced only from 1952-62, most countries have long since replaced the Vigneron with weapons such as the MP-5 and Uzi series, but Algeria, Burundi, Congo, Portugal, and Rwanda still use a fair number of them, and many can still be found here and there in Central Africa.  The Vigneron was designed by a retired Colonel in the Belgian Army and manufactured in a factory in Herstal near, but not a part of, FN.

     The Vigneron uses a rather long 11.75-inch barrel which contributes to accuracy (particularly in semiautomatic fire), but can make the Vigneron prone to barrel bending since much of the barrel is exposed and unsupported.  The rear third of the barrel is finned however, which contributes to cooling and somewhat mitigates the barrel-bending problem.  On some versions, the muzzle is equipped with a slotted compensator.  Magazines were either based on those of the MP-40 or those of the MP-40 itself. The cyclic rate of fire is low at about 600 rpm, which further enhances controllability, and the Vigneron is also fairly heavy.  The ejection port has a spring-loaded, hinged cover that automatically opens when the Vigneron is fired. The Vigneron uses a two-stage trigger; when pulled about halfway, the Vigneron uses semiautomatic shots, and pulled all the way back (beyond a perceptible detent) the Vigneron fires on automatic.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

Vigneron M-2 (With Compensator)

9mm Parabellum

3.29 kg

32

$391

Vigneron M-2

9mm Parabellum

3.09 kg

32

$341

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

Vigneron M-2 (With Compensator)

5

2

Nil

4/5

1

2

30

Vigneron M-2

5

2

Nil

4/5

1

3

30